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Loving For Others What We Love For Ourselves

Having genuine people in your life is a true blessing from Allah.

As people have come and gone from my life over the years, I realized that the ones who meant the most to me were not the ones who gave me expensive gifts or even those who I could laugh and have a good time with. They were the ones who treated me kindly and fairly, as they would want others to treat them.

And over time, I have realized that I do not just want people like that in my life—I want to be that well-intentioned person in other people’s lives. Because relationships work both ways, and we tend to attract people who are similar to us.

Loving Allah, Loving His Creation

There is, of course, a huge benefit to this type of sincerity, which comes in the form of nearness to Allah. Gaining nearness to Allah is a constant effort.

For me personally, I know that even if I am praying, fasting, wearing a hijab out, and fulfilling all of my other obligations related to worship, that is just one part of it.

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My relationship with others tends to be what makes or breaks that sacred relationship with my Creator. When I have pure intentions towards others and I am genuinely trying to follow the “golden rule,” I feel I am also sincere in my relationship with Allah.

At the end of the day, if I am doing all of the required acts of worship and even going above and beyond, but I am not kind to others, where is the sincerity?

Wish the Best For Others

It is not always easy to live this way, though. Our deen (religion) advises us to love for others what we love for ourselves, but sometimes I see a person who has more than I do and I have to fight unpleasant feelings inside myself.

Maybe some of it is coming from Satan and some of it is just human nature. I don’t know. But I do know that when I allow myself to let go of jealousy and envy, and I truly want the best for those around me, I am the one who benefits.

There are so many spiritual benefits to having this mindset, too. Not only does loving for others what you love for yourself provide you with inner peace, it is also an easy way to have the angels pray for you.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

There is no Muslim servant who supplicates for his brother behind his back but that the angel says: And for you the same.

This is a beautiful way to get past that barrier of jealousy or ill will towards others. Sometimes we just need that extra push, and that is okay.

Inner Peace

The inner peace that I mentioned is not something that can be easily described. It is the feeling of positivity that comes from doing good for others without expecting anything in return. It’s the joy that comes from knowing, deep down inside, that Allah knows the purity of our intentions. It is the hope that if we genuinely want good things for other people, Allah Almighty will grant us similar blessings.

When I find myself losing this peaceful feeling, it means that this is a time to reflect on what I might be doing wrong. Where are the areas for improvement in my character?

Striving For a Better Me

I remember, ever since a pretty young age, I have prayed for a very specific thing related to my inner character. For all these years, I have asked Allah to make me strong but keep me soft. I want the strength to stand by my morals, fight for injustice, and speak up for myself.

However, I also wish to remain soft, gentle, and kind as a person rather than becoming harsh, ill-willing, or hard-hearted.

This can be a tough balance to strike, which is why I am seeking Divine help. And I know that the closer I am to achieving this kind of balance, the more at peace I feel within myself.

Most of all, as Muslims, we should aspire to have the kind of character and behavior that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would be proud of.

One of the prophetic stories that touches me the most is something that the Prophet narrated. He said that there was once a prophet who was beaten by his own people to the point that he had to wipe away blood from his face. Yet he still prayed for them. The du’a (supplication) that he made was:

My Lord, forgive my people for they do not know.

This is just such a touching prayer. The mercy within this Prophet (peace be upon him) was unbelievable. And he narrated it to us for a reason. I think one of those reasons was to highlight the gentle character that we should all aspire to have.

Wanting the best for others and loving for them what I love for myself is something that I struggle with. I will continue trying to improve myself in this way, with the hope that Allah will recognize my struggles and purify my heart.

(From Discovering Islam archive)